A Question for Catholic Converts

So . . . what did you do in the meantime? You know, before you were "officially" accepted into the Church and could not yet partake in Holy Communion, confession, etc.?

I am finding it hard to enjoy the Mass when I am simply an observer for the most important half of it, and I spend most of the time trying to control my toddler, anyway. There is much to love in the music, readings, prayers and Father's awesome homilies, of course, but I definitely feel like there's something missing. (Hmm, could this be God's way of making sure I'm really hungry for the Blessed Sacrament when my time finally comes?) Anyway, any suggestions to help "spiritualize" the Mass for me while I'm still forbidden from consuming the real spiritual food would be welcome.

So far I've come up with the idea of trying to go alone to a nearby parish that does perpetual adoration, but the logistics are tricky with taking care of my little guy and my husband working all the time. I also say the "Spiritual Communion" prayer, but it is just not the same. I can't wait until Easter at this point. I feel like my life is in a holding pattern.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, part of your problem won't go away as long as you have little children. I have a seven year old, a four year old, a two year old, and a 4 month old, plus a non-Catholic husband who only attends mass for wedding, funerals, and baptisms. You can't get as much out of mass when you're dealing with a small but awake child. Sometimes it's hard to get much at all out of it.

It does get better; my seven year old and four year old don't need much supervision now. It's the time from when they stop sleeping through mass until they're about 3.5 -4 that's so tough.

The Catholic Church strongly believes that child need to attend the mass; that their presence is very important for their own spiritual development. This is why crying rooms and nurseries are rare in Catholic churches and why people are so much more tolerant of the antics of small people than some Protestants I've heard about.

Try to occassionally get to a mass without your child. I haven't been as diligant about that as I should and I can tell.

12/13/2005 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous cjmr said...

Do you take small stuffed animals and/or cloth books for your toddler? Mine does so much better when she has something soft to play with when she gets tired of just sitting doing nothing. Not Weebles, though. We took Weebles the other day--a compromise from taking the one stuffed teddy that plays music when you squeeze his paws--and everyone in the church heard them thunking around. And several people commented on it several days later, especially the priest!

12/13/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can also try religious themed books. This works better with a preschooler, who will flip through the books silently, especially if he has heard the story at home, than with a toddler, who will demand to have the story read (whsipered) and then supply sound effects (nativity scenes and Noah's ark are particularly bad because of the animals)


12/15/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Jason Cone said...

It sounds like you're doing exactly what you should (i.e. making a spiritual communion and hungering for the Body). You perceive the Body; no lesser food will satisfy. I don't think there's any way to get around that. You're having the "desert experience" that one hears so much about during Lent.

A tangential note on Mass and small children: I have four children, pretty evenly spaced from ages one to nine, so I know all about that problem. I find it very fulfilling to worship at weekday Masses, in addition to Sunday Mass. I don't do that every day (not even close), but every time I worship at a weekday Mass I wonder why I don't do it more often (probably laziness).

3/20/2006 12:43:00 PM  

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